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Silhouettes At Events

If you want an artist as entertainment and something that has often never been seen before, which is a great icebreaker that won’t interrupt conversations, and gift idea for people to remember your event, you should definitely consider booking a silhouette artist.

What makes silhouettes stand out from normal hand crafted art you might find at events, is that each one is cut freehand traditionally out of black paper using scissors only. There is no drawing or photography involved.  The speed and accuracy of each silhouette wows guests and most, if not all, of your guests will get to take one home. These miniature paper profiles are presented on mount cards which some artists allow you to design or add a logo too.

Silhouette artists
There are only half a dozen silhouette artists in the UK which makes this art extremely rare and sought after. There are also no silhouette training courses.  A sign of a good silhouette artist is one that can produce a silhouette in only one to two minutes whilst talking and making sure that there is a true likeness with intricate detailing. You should ask for testimonials and examples to ensure they are suitable for your event as silhouette styles and prices vary. To avoid disappointment you should book in advance.

Silhouettes are nostalgically reminiscent of past eras to the present day glamour seen in glossy magazines. This makes them versatile in regards to themeing. There is the grandeur of Victorian cameos, Moulin Rogue (as silhouettes originally came from 18th Century France) Byzantine era as they are seen on vases, to modern day James Bond. Some silhouette artists will dress to suit your event. If unrequested or for black tie, they will usually wear a black smart suit or dress.

Types of events
As well as the mandatory corporate Christmas and summer balls, silhouettes are also really suited to private functions such as birthdays, anniversary’s, engagements, and weddings as they are entertaining and act as great favours. Other areas where silhouettes are particularly good is at exhibition stands as they attract crowds. Launch parties prefer the art of silhouettes as they want a mix and mingle entertainment which doesn’t distract from networking plus they also have the added bonus of customising the mount cards to make sure their company is remembered long after the event. Most silhouette artist will collect for donations at charity events. Usually special arrangements can be made to extend hours for all day family fun days.

Silhouettes at events
A silhouette artist usually arrives in advance of the designated start time to prepare papers and change their clothes if necessary. Therefore a room or space away from the guests is the best option. The artist should make themselves known to the organiser who should let them know any special requirements, however most accomplished silhouettes artist are well accustomed to working the room and need little direction. The best times to hire a silhouette artist is for a drinks receptions or sit down meals. Breaks are usually taken at convenient times such as during the main meal so that guests are left to eat in peace.

Booking an artist
When you contact a silhouette artist to get a quote you should let them know the date, location of the event, timing (approximate if unknown), and number of guests. It is best to contact by telephone in case you have any specific questions. Make sure you know or have seen examples of their work, how they work, and back history. Once the artist has checked availability and you have agreed that you wish to go ahead with the booking you should make sure that you receive a contract to confirm the details.  Most artists will request a deposit.

This article was kindly supplied by Sarah Goddard of